Kindness is not a joke.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” –Plato

“Hey Nick. You OK?” I asked.

I could tell by the sound of his voice on the phone that… he wasn’t.

“Not really,” he said. “I have cancer.”




“I’m cutting way back on my clients right now,” he continued, as my brain went into shock. “Treatment is going to be tough, and I only want to surround myself with people who are super positive. People who will lift me up. Help me get better. You know?”

I thought about Nick’s words for days.

He reminded me that …

Being positive can, literally, help save a life.

And that…

Being negative can, literally, shorten a life.

Your attitude, your energy, the way you treat people …

It can be a healing balm or a deadly weapon.

It’s so easy to be careless with your words and your actions. So easy to avoid eye contact. Avoid heart contact. Check out. Detach. Be cold. Short-tempered. Or bitter.

I do it. We all do.


You never know who is fighting cancer. You never know who is about to find out that they have cancer. You never know who is getting a divorce. Or grieving an unspeakable loss. You never know who just lost her job. You never know who woke up this morning wondering if there’s really any reason to keep living. You never know who is desperately aching for an encouraging word, a smile, a moment of human connection — from anyone. From you.

You just never know.

So, be positive.

Or as Nick would say, “super positive.”

Be patient. Be kind.

Kinder than necessary.

Kindness is not a joke.

Kindness is what keeps us alive.